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Surprising ruling on third runway for London Heathrow

Johanna Koyser
16.12.2020
2 minutes

A third runway for London Heathrow – a hard-fought project that suffered a major setback earlier this year. WingMag also reported on the Court of Appeal’s ruling in February. According to the ruling, the planned construction of a third runway was not permissible. The court saw this as incompatible with the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate protection. 

But even then it was clear that the very last word had not yet been spoken in this case. So the case went to the Supreme Court of the country, the highest judicial authority. This morning, the Supreme Court handed down its verdict, and all supporters of the construction project are rejoicing. According to the Supreme Court, the construction of a third runway is permissible. In its reasoning, the court emphasised that the plans for construction were in line with the climate protection regulations in force at the time. The Paris Agreement on climate protection only came into force in 2016 and the first plans for the said expansion of Heathrow had already been made in 2003. For climate protection activists, however, this ruling is a bitter disappointment today.

The legal final word on the third runway for London Heathrow may have been spoken. But this does not necessarily mean that the plans will become reality. After all, the main purpose of the ruling was to be able to submit an application for expansion. Whether this will be approved, however, is another question.

Picture © Nick Fewings

by Johanna Koyser

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